Holiday Inn Express is to make its debut in Russia with its first property opening in a few weeks.
A 145-room hotel in Voronezh Kirova, roughly 250 miles south of Moscow, will be the first to bear the budget brand name following the signing of a multiple franchise deal with a forecast 100 properties open or in the pipeline by 2020. So far, six properties are in the planning, with the latest being Moscow Vereyskaya, a 144-room hotel set to open in 2019.
Russia and particularly Moscow has a great need for two-three star brands as there is a dire shortage of affordable quality accommodation. IHG has already bought its Hotel Indigo mid-range brand to Russia with the opening of a property in St Petersburg in March.
Robert Shepherd, IHG chief development officer, Europe, said: “Russia, the CIS and Georgia is a priority market for us and we want to be number one there. We have also identified a gap in the market for quality, affordable mid-market accommodation and our Holiday Inn Express brand meets the needs of our owners and our guests perfectly.”
There are currently 220 Holiday Inn Express hotels open in Europe and 41 in the development pipeline. All Holiday Inn Express rates in Europe include breakfast and wi-fi.